The 2023 Safe Summer Bike Helmet Program was a Sweet Success!

Bike Safety Event: kids eating ice cream

Stewart’s Shops is once again proud to support the Safe Summer Bike Helmet Program.

Bike safely this summer and get free ice cream to beat the heat. That’s the goal of the Safe Summer Bike Helmet program founded by Senator Jim Tedisco, which just kicked off for its 25th year!

Senator Tedisco joined with Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo, Saratoga County Clerk Craig Hayner, Milton Town Supervisor Scott Ostrander and Ballston Spa Mayor Frank Rossi, Jr., to lead the Milton summer camp attendees in a bike ride, followed by free ice cream donated by Stewart’s Shops.

This year, Stewart’s Shops donated 3,000 single scoop ice cream certificates to Senator Tedisco’s Safe Summer Program. The program will distribute these “good tickets” to 24 police departments to reward children who wear their helmets while bicycling, skateboarding, and rollerblading, and give free bike helmets to kids who need one. Stewart’s Shops is proud to offer our support; we have donated around 48,000 certificates over the years to this amazing program!

“Summer is the season for kids to have fun, but we can’t ever forget that they need to keep safety in mind. I want children to enjoy the summer, but I also want them to be safe when they’re riding their bicycles. My Safe Summer program, now its 25th year, reminds kids to wear their helmets while rewarding good behavior with coupons for free ice cream,” said Senator Tedisco. “This program is a community partnership among businesses, law enforcement, government and parents and it’s truly a model for how caring people can come together and promote a fun and safe environment for children.”

It’s the law in New York State that children up to age 14 must wear a bicycle helmet or parents could face a $50 fine. According to the New York State Department of Health, bicycle-related incidents are the number one cause of head injuries in children in New York State. The cost of a bicycle helmet is about $30.00. The average charge for a hospital stay due to a bicycle related brain injury is $18,900 with an average length of stay of four days.

Senator Tedisco’s Safe Summer Program aims to address these alarming statistics by using positive reinforcement to get all neighborhood kids into the habit of wearing their helmets for safe biking, in-line skating, or riding a skateboard or scooter.

“The safety of our children is priority number one. The Safe Summer Bike Helmet Program allows us to pass on simple, yet effective ways to teach kids how to safely handle their bicycles, scooters, and skateboards in a fun atmosphere. I want to thank Senator Tedisco for his leadership these past 25 years in helping to protect our kids and encouraging them to have positive interactions with law enforcement,” said Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo.

Participating police departments that will distribute free ice cream coupons and bike helmets to kids include Saratoga County Sheriff, Schenectady County Sheriff, Ballston Spa Police, Clifton Park Town Security, Mechanicville Police, Niskayuna Police, City of Rensselaer Police, Saratoga Springs Police, City of Schenectady Police, South Glens Falls Police, Stillwater Police, and Waterford Police. Coupons also will be distributed to the Southern Saratoga YMCA.

“Stewart’s Shops is very excited to be a part of this fantastic event again this year! Bike Safety is extremely important, especially for kids. We’re absolutely thrilled to be part of the fun, and rewarding kids for their safe biking efforts with some delicious ice cream,” said Stewart’s Shops President, Gary Dake.

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